It may be a re-run, with six shows only, but Kumar will still have his say on the latest current affairs.
According to the popular comedian, about 30 percent of this restaging of his sold-out 2009 one man show KUMAR: Stripped Bare & Standing Up, taking place 4 to 7 March at the Esplanade Theatre, is new.
His show’s writer, Benjamin Lee aka local blogging veteran Mr Miyagi, said that he and Kumar have worked to include fresh and funny observations about the newly opened integrated resort on Sentosa, as well as opinions on anticipated upcoming general elections.
Lee and Kumar became collaborators after they were introduced by actress-director Selena Tan, who directs this show. As the name suggests, the show offers a more intimate look into the eventful life of its protagonist than his past performances.
It has been “very easy” to work with Kumar on this show, said Lee, because the latter was very forthcoming in revealing deeply personal issues in his life.
“It was Selena who suggested we do this show, which would be more intimate than anything Kumar had done before,” said Lee.
“We (Kumar and I) sat down, had a chat, and decided what was important for him to tell people about himself.”
Lee added that the process was relatively straightforward because “ask Kumar about something painful (in his life) and he’ll tell you everything.”
“It might have been painful to hear about these experiences at times, but Kumar was able to be objective about things” and make those script discussions less awkward.
It was a good time for Kumar to do such a show, Lee believed, because he had recently turned 40. Having mellowed, he was able to take a different perspective now on things that happened before in his life.
An enduring presence on local stage for nearly two decades now, Kumar noted that audiences at his stand-up shows were now more sophisticated and more intellectual.
“They can really laugh at themselves,” he said.
After years of performing, he said that expectations of him tend to get higher, and that he had to work to meet those expectations.
“I’m very expressive when I perform, so sometimes, people laugh before I even tell the joke.”
Asked about his best and worst experiences performing, Kumar said “My experience is every night; my worst is when people heckle me for no reason.”
One perception he would like to change among audiences is that his act consists just of saucy jokes.
“It’s not just below-the-belt jokes, ok. It’s not just about sex only.”